Memorial Day Activities at Historic Luper Cemetery and “They Were Dreamers and Doers” Story of James A. Bushnell’s Life by Kathleen Pitney Box

Memorial Weekend, May 27-29, 2023

James A. Bushnell was the first president of the University’s Board of Trustees. He is buried at Luper Cemetery with many members of his family. Every year students from Bushnell University work alongside faculty, staff, and community members at the cemetery during “Embrace the Community (ETC) day” as a way to stay connected to our pioneer heritage.

Learn more about James A. Bushnell in The Beacon Magazine. 

Luper Pioneer Cemetery will open the vehicle gate at 30391 Beacon Drive West (north of Eugene’s Santa Clara neighborhood) from 9 AM to 4 PM May 27, 28, 29 (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday) so people can walk the grounds and take a self-guided tour of this historic site.

On Monday, Memorial Day, the following activities will take place between 10 AM and 2 PM:

  • Musical entertainment by the Poodle Creek Pickers.
  • Historical presentations by ‘Mountain Man’ Ken Beagle and his wife Marmie Beagle (great-great granddaughter of wagon train leader James McClure).
  • Informational tours by local historian Daniel Owen.
  • Members of the Luper board of directors will be in attendance to answer questions, and a self-guided ‘I spy’ activity will also be available.
  • Authors Kathy Pitney Box (great, great granddaughter of James A Bushnell) and Daniel Owen will each be present with copies of their respective books for sale about Oregon Pioneers. Each book purchased comes with a free copy of “They Came, They Went,” a local history book by John Harn, while supplies Last

On Saturday and Sunday, information for completing a self-guided tour of the cemetery will be available, including interpretive signs describing the 18 people interred at the cemetery who arrived on the 1853 wagon train. There are over 160 people interred at Luper Cemetery.